460 East Halton to Goxhill Haven

[This walk was completed on the 11th November 2021]

It is another morning of dithering but, eventually I decide on the logistics of today’s route, which involves a bike ride back to the church at East Halton. With Scooty safely locked up beside the church, I begin today’s walk.

East Halton is a suprisingly large place. I pass a street called Brick Lane, which makes me smile because the other Brick Lane I know of is in East London, and is a very different place.

Nearby, Scrub Lane is a much better name for a road in this rural, Lincolnshire village.

Somebody seems to have decorated their front lawn with plastic mushrooms – no, hang on, they’re real. Ink caps.

I pass the pub, The Black Bull. It looks inviting, but much too early to stop.

At the T junction, I turn right and follow the road as it bends around and heads northward. It’s not long after halloween and bonfire night, and I’ve come across a few decaying pumpkins in people’s gardens. This one is quite amusing. A cannibal pumpkin.

I’m leaving the village behind. A group of cows are huddled around a trough in a nearby field. I’m glad they’re behind a fence. I really don’t like cows.

The road stretches ahead of me. It’s one of those murky mornings, and the end of the road is hidden in mist, so it looks like the route simply continues for ever.

I reach a junction with a side-road, which I know is heading towards the coast – and towards the footpath that runs along the bank. It’s the same footpath I spent much of yesterday morning trying to get to.

I pull out my map. Most of the road is marked as a public road, but the final part seems to be private, and runs past an artificial looking lake. It’s a good mile before I will find out if I can get through to the bank. If not, it’s another mile back.

In the end, I decide I can’t face what might be two miles of “wasted walking”, particularly considering my slow progress yesterday. I’ll stick with the main road and join the bank further north, as planned.

A mile or so later, and coming towards me very slowly, is a figure in a wheelchair. No – I realise as he gets closer – it’s a man on a mobility scooter with a small dog running beside him.

He stops for a chat. Yes, he tells me, you could have got through to the bank along that road. He used to walk there in his youth (everyone I met was once an intrepid long-distance walker, or so they tell me!). We talk about the weather, the history of the area, my adventures, his little dog, and then we continue on our respective ways.

Further along, I come across one of thos ubiquitous traffic cones. This one seems to be guarding a gushing pipe. Why is it gushing? No idea.

Finally, I’m nearing the end of this long stretch of road. Step aside to let a tractor pass.

Round the bend, and another half-mile, and I reach the end of the road at a place called East Halton Skitter.

Despite it’s endearing name, East Halton Skitter is a horrible place – basically a churned up area at the end of the road, covered in mud and muck, which stinks. A pumping machine seems to be busy filling (or maybe emptying) a giant metal container on wheels.

I drove here earlier, when my plan was to leave my Beast parked up, and cycle into East Halton to begin this morning’s walk. In the end, I didn’t fancy leaving my lovely van here, where the ground was covered in stinky muck and deep pools and obviously used by large lorries to turn around in, so I left my bike, thinking I would park in East Halton instead, walk here, and cycle back.

In fact, I carefully hid Scooty in the copse of trees you can see in the photo above. But, after I’d emerged, I saw large lorries arriving and those mysterious white vans that seem to have no purpose but always look as if they’re up to no good. So I chickened out, and retrieved Scooty and went and parked elsewhere.

I told you it was one of those dithering mornings!

Anyway, I’ve finally reached the bank. Hooray. I’m back on the coast. Or on the river. When does the estuary stop being sea and become river?

I’m just about to leave East Halton Skitter behind, when I hear a rumbling and a tractor arrives pulling a tanker. What is going on? Is the tanker emptying its muck, or filling up? I have no idea, but decide not to stick around to find out.

I’ve reached the bank of the Humber. Finally!

Well, I think I’m on the bank of the Humber. No sign of the water – just a mass of reed beds. The frondy ends wave gently in the breeze. It’s hard to capture in a photograph, but it’s really quite a soothing sight.

Meanwhile, to my left, stretches another one of those endless Lincolnshire fields. Has this been harvested already? I can see what looks like oil-seed rape, but it doesn’t look like a coordinated planting, so they could just be feral plants.

This area is full of mysteries. Onwards. Towards that yellow pole.

The yellow pole turns out to be warning of a buried gas pipe. Across the fields, I can see storage tanks.

Further along, I come to a lake with more reeds. “Private” says a yellow sign.

A little further along, and I meet my first walker of the day. (Actually, he will be the only walker of the day, but I don’t know this yet.) We stop for a brief chat. He tells me he’s just seen a deer, and waves towards a nearby copse.

I walk on to the place where he saw the deer. No sign of them now, but – what’s that? A fox! I manage to catch a photo with my camera on full zoom, before he disappears off into the bushes.

I remember seeing two waiters feeding a fox down a side alley in Grimsby. It’s funny how you see lots of foxes in towns and cities, but they’re a rare sight in the actual countryside.

The bank draws closer to the water, and reed beds are replaced by the concrete and rocks of shore defences. I reach what might be the northernmost point of the Lincolnshire coast and decide to sit down on the concrete to eat my picnic lunch.

In the past, when I was still married, I used to take a lunchtime selfie with my iPhone – of my feet and the view – and would send it to my husband in a brief text entitled ‘lunchtime view’. This time, I take a selfie of my feet and the view using my camera.

Not such a great view, but at at least I am back by the water. Now that I’ve stopped walking, I soon feel cold. So my lunch stop is brief. Onwards.

Here’s a man fishing. I interrupt him and ask if he’s caught anything. Only flounder he says. He was hoping for cod.

I pass a trashed TV on the shore, and wonder how it got here. Washed up by the tides? Or dumped?

Further along, I find a husband and wife fishing. It’s good to see a couple sharing an interest (although fishing was something I grew out of when I was about 13!) I ask them if they’ve caught anything. Only flounder, they tell me. They were hoping for trout.

Here’s another fisherman. He doesn’t seem keen to discuss his lack of trout.

I’ve nearly reached a place called Goxhill Haven, where a public road meets the river bank. This is why there are so many fishermen congregated here. It’s also where a farm, called Haven Farm, is marked on my map.

Haven Farm is a bit of a mess. Tumble-down buildings and a great pile of rubbish. (Although, to be fair to the farmer, the pile of rubbish might be due to illegal flytipping.)

Just beyond the farm is an access point to the public road, along with a collection of residential buildings, at a little place called Goxhill Haven.

Goxhill Haven is an odd name. Haven implies some sort of harbour for ships, but there isn’t one. Goxhill implies some sort of hill. There isn’t one of those, either.

My lovely Beast is parked here, but I have planned to walk a little further along the coast, so I carry on.

Out in the Humber, a large ship moves slowly along, it’s details obscured by the murk. Beyond, just grey shapes in the haze, I can make out buildings and features on the opposite bank.

I pass a ruined house. Why is it here, and who lived here? It doesn’t even have road access. Another mystery.

Close by is a large lake of water. The rectangular shape suggests it was once an old quarry or clay pit. One side is lined by platforms for fishing. It’s a pretty place, especially with the autumn colours and the waving reeds.

Further along I pass a strange area, where several trailers from container lorries appear to have reached their final resting place. A graveyard for unwanted trailers?

I pass a neat looking farm and then, here it is, the place where I’m going to leave the coast and circle back to Goxhill Haven.

A sign is tacked onto the footpath post. “If you have any problems using this path, please contact us.” It’s a strange thing to see, and I wonder what problems there might be. Can’t see any cattle, and the path is basically an easy track across open fields.

Another mystery. Onwards.

I follow the track along the edge of a huge field for 1/2 mile or so, and then head eastwards to join the road system. To be fair, this side track is probably not a public footpath, but it looks a good route.

I join the road, which has led to some industrial yards, offering “Building Material Solutions”. I guess that means it’s a building merchant’s yard.

The road is narrow and rural, but I have to stop several times to let large lorries thunder past. Some drivers are very good and give me a wide berth. Others rumble past far too close to my shoulder.

I pass a rather nice stud farm, and stop to take photographs of the horses. This rural road is called “Neatgangs Lane”. Strange name.

And, there is a lack of neatness about the place. Not only are there too many large lorries, but also some places where rubbish has just been dumped. Sadly, I think this is the contents of a driver’s food stash. What a shame to leave such a mess!

I’m relieved to get back to Goxhill Haven, and find my beautiful Beast waiting for me.

Just one more day to go, and I will have finished the Lincolnshire coast. I must say, I’ll be pleased to see the back of it. It’s been a disappointing experience for the most part.

Miles walked today = 9 miles

Total distance around coast = 4,701 miles

Today’s route:

About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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7 Responses to 460 East Halton to Goxhill Haven

  1. Plenty of interest along the way even if some of it is a bit tatty or tricky with the route finding. I wonder if you have read Brick Lane by Monica Ali? I read it a couple of weeks ago. An original writing style and a comprehensively detailed chunk of recent social history mixed with humour and penetrating comment, although it did go on a bit too long. Well worth a read though.

  2. Eunice says:

    You were lucky to get the photo of the fox before it disappeared, it almost looks lie it was posing for you. That would have been the highlight of the walk for me 🙂 And don’t get me started on people who dump rubbish like that – I’ll never understand why they do it 😦

  3. I applaud your persistence in the apparent mediocrity of the Lincolnshire coast, surely things must improve.

  4. jcombe says:

    I think I’ve said it before, but I wonder if having started where you did, if you had begun your walk heading in the other direction, would you have carried on? I think those walks around Lincolnshire might have put me off going further if they were the first ones I did! The transport was also more difficult than I expected around there too, so I remember having to do some really long walks. Still I know from experience things are about to get much better once you are beyond Hull.

  5. tonyurwin says:

    One of those murky November days but full of interesting details. I may aim for some long walking days with B&Bs when I start heading north from Harwich.

  6. Robin Massey says:

    Thanks again Ruth. I’m thinking you’ll cross the Humber bridge soon? – a great landmark. Aprox 2 miles to walk across I see from Wiki!

  7. Karen White says:

    Most of the areas you are walking in seem less than salubrious but still of interest. I am fascinated by strange place names but can’t find any info on why Neatgangs Lane was so named. Certainly an odd one!

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